Witham (UK Parliament constituency)
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for the House of Commons
Boundary of Witham in Essex
Location of Essex within England
|Electorate||67,451 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||Priti Patel (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Braintree, Maldon and East Chelmsford, North Essex, Colchester|
|European Parliament constituency||East of England|
Witham is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 creation by Priti Patel, a Conservative who became the Home Secretary in July 2019, in the Johnson ministry.
The seat was created for the 2010 general election following a review of the Parliamentary representation of Essex by the Boundary Commission for England which resulted in radical alterations to existing constituencies to allow for an extra seat to be created due to increased population. As a consequence, the new seat of Witham was created which included parts of the constituencies of Braintree, Colchester, North Essex, and Maldon and East Chelmsford.
- The District of Braintree wards of Black Notley and Terling, Bradwell, Silver End and Rivenhall, Coggeshall and North Feering, Hatfield Peverel, Kelvedon, Witham Chipping Hill and Central, Witham North, Witham South, and Witham West
- The District of Maldon wards of Great Totham, Tollesbury, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, and Wickham Bishops and Woodham
- The Borough of Colchester wards of Birch and Winstree, Copford and West Stanway, Marks Tey, Stanway and Tiptree
The District of Braintree wards, which comprised approximately half the electorate, were transferred from the Braintree constituency; the District of Maldon wards from the abolished constituency of Maldon and Chelmsford East; and the Borough of Colchester wards from the abolished constituency of North Essex, except for Stanway ward which had been in the Colchester constituency.
Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission
The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018 which would reduce the total number of MPs from 650 to 600. Although the proposals were immediately laid before Parliament they were not brought forward by the Government for approval. Accordingly, they will not come into effect for the 2019 election due to take place on 12 December 2019, which will be contested using the constituency boundaries in place since 2010.
The Commission has recommended that the constituency of Witham be broken up, with the town of Witham and the District of Maldon wards, comprising about half the electorate, to be combined with part of the abolished Maldon constituency to form the new constituency of Witham and Maldon. The rural wards to the north of Witham would be returned to the Braintree constituency and the Borough of Colchester wards would be included in a new constituency of North East Essex (which would have similar boundaries to the old seat of North Essex).
One of the safest Conservative seats in the county and by extension one of the safest in the United Kingdom, Essex's newest seat seems likely to return only Conservative members, though paradoxically, the town of Witham is the only area of real Labour strength in the region, being represented by one District Councillor alongside seven Conservative Councillors.
Witham itself is an industrial town, on the Great Eastern main line railway from London to Norwich, with some heavy industry and London commuter belt residential areas – the strength of the Labour vote here was just enough to turn the former Braintree seat red in 1997 on the previous boundaries.
However, the town is small, and the Witham seat extends to cover a huge part of rural central Essex where affluent commuter villages and farming communities sit side by side, united in almost universal support for the Conservatives.
Members of Parliament
|2010||Priti Patel||Conservative||Secretary of State for International Development July 2016-November 2017, Home Secretary July 2019-present|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrat||Sam North|
|Liberal Democrat||Jo Hayes||2,715||5.5||0.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Josephine Hayes||2,891||6.1||13.6|
|Christian Peoples||Doreen Scrimshaw||80||0.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat||Margaret Phelps||9,252||19.8||4.6|
Notes and references
- "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review (September 2018). "Final recommendations report" (PDF).
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 4)
- "2019 general election".
- "Braintree and Witham candidates".
- "Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates".
- "Twitter - Braintree and Witham candidates".
- Daynes, Steve. "Parliamentary Election Results". www.braintree.gov.uk.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "CPA Candidates for the General Election". Christian Peoples Alliance. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.